Sunita Williams may come for Hyderabad astronautical congress


Hyderabad : Indian American astronaut Sunita Williams is likely to participate in the 58th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) to be held here in September.

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She may also interact with Indian scientists on the advances in space exploration during a special plenary session of the world’s largest and most authoritative forum of the global space community. The meet is scheduled to be held Sep 24 to Sep 28.

National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) director K. Radhakrishnan told reporters late Thursday that they were waiting for Williams’ confirmation.

The who’s who in the space field, including NASA administrator Michael Griffin will attend IAC-2007, the theme of which is “Touching humanity: space for improving quality of life”.

Heads of 24 space agencies, scientists, policy makers, regulators, global industry professionals from aerospace and allied industries would attend the event, which provides an opportunity for the scientific fraternity to showcase their work to the world.

The Congress is hosted by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Astronautical Society of India (ASI) in conjunction with global organisations.

This is the second time India will be hosting the prestigious event. The 39th IAC was held at Bangalore in 1988.

Coinciding with the IAC-2007, an international space exhibition will also be held at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC).

Around 2,500 space professionals and students engaged in space activities from across the world will participate in the event and 200 global organisations will take part in the exhibition. The event is expected to attract over 10,000 business visitors.

“The entire event is developed as a strong business platform through the international exhibition, business conclave, business-to-business (B2B) meetings and an Industry Day,” Radhakrishnan said.

“IAC-2007 has special significance because this is the 50th year of the launch of Sputnik signifying the beginning of space age, the 50th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year and also the 40th year of the United Nations Outer Space Treaty. To commemorate these events, special care has been taken to present appropriate plenary events, highlight lectures and technical sessions befitting the occasion,” he said.

Added K.R. Sridhara Murthi, executive director of Antrix Corporation: “We are expecting a large participation in the exhibition from the US, Europe and Asia. It is a great opportunity for Indian companies to leverage this platform by participating in the Congress and international exhibition. This event should pave the way for more international tie-ups and businesses.”